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But first, what is ALS, anyway? Well, let's turn to the Mayo Clinic.  The page leads to other info such as symptoms, causes, etc.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (a-mi-o-TROE-fik LAT-ur-ul skluh-ROE-sis), or ALS, is a nervous system (neurological) disease that causes muscle weakness and impacts physical function.

ALS is often called Lou Gehrig's disease, after the famous baseball player who was diagnosed with it. ALS is a type of motor neuron disease that causes nerve cells to gradually break down and die. In the United States, ALS is sometimes called motor neuron disease.

In most cases, doctors don't know why ALS occurs. A small number of cases are inherited.

ALS often begins with muscle twitching and weakness in an arm or leg, or sometimes with slurring of speech. Eventually, ALS can affect your ability to control the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe. ALS can't be cured and eventually leads to death.

And the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? For those who, like me, (don't facebook, don't do twitter) were not aware of it until a few days ago, it's a fundraising effort to raise awareness and money to advance research into the deadly disease. Participants pour a bucket (or some sort of container) of ice water over one's head, then nominate others to do the same. The nominees can either accept the challenge, make a donation or do both. And yes, of course it's filmed and uploaded to the internets. Here is one of the videos floating around.

The campaign has been wildly successful. The ALS Association reports it has received $88.5 million this year from July 29~August 26. During the same time period in 2013, they brought in $2.6 million.

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